Super Cities №87 — The Mighty Incumbent’s Second Wind

Brendan Hart

One Big Thing

Amazon is a singularly dominant company

“Amazon’s revenue, which includes sales from Whole Foods, increased 43 percent year-over-year.”


For ten-plus years, the major American technology companies — Amazon, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, and Apple — have been running a long distance race. For the most part, they were running in a pack.

That is no longer true. Amazon caught its second wind and is extending its lead.

Across the board, Amazon is a singularly dominant company.

Alexa, clearly better than its competitors’ products, is burrowing into our homes.

AWS is becoming an undeclared monopoly.

Prime — the gem of Amazon’s logistics empire — has crossed 100 million users.

With its newly acquired Whole Foods assets, Amazon is driving its food business up-market — and now controls a network of well-located, physical distribution centers.

A few months ago, Amazon partnered with JP Morgan and Berkshire to do something big in healthcare. In such a large industry, small efficiencies would be worth billions.

At the same time, Amazon’s competitors are losing steam on a relative basis.

Post-2016, Facebook’s business for the first time has a real regulatory threat.

Google dominates search, but its IoT, autonomous efforts, and healthcare efforts are lagging.

Microsoft is, well, Microsoft, even if they wrap themselves in LinkedIn.

Apple’s hardware remains the industry standard — and has done a nice job adding a robust services layer — but it will continue to battle Google and Chinese giants for the operating system that controls our lives.

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